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1940's Weekend at South Devon Railway

Saturday 4th July 2015 - Sunday 5th July 2015

Each year, the scenic South Devon Railway (SDR) teams up with the Devon area branch of the Military Vehicle Trust (MVT) to hold a 1940s-themed event on the first weekend of July, this year being held on 4th & 5th July at South Devon Railway.

Members of the MVT will be setting up a military camp in the station grounds at Buckfastleigh to display up to 50 period military vehicles, displays and other 'living history' colour for visitors to enjoy, with the steam railway serving as the perfect event backdrop, and the SDR also offering discounted train travel for those arriving in period 1940's dress.

Please see more details at: http://www.southdevonrailway.co.uk/events/1940s-weekend-2015 which outlines some of the other event attractions and the 1940's musical entertainment on offer. 

As 2015 is the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, the Devon MVT wanted to do something a little bit special this year.

So, they approached their friends at the Cobbaton Combat Collection of military vehicles near Umberleigh, North Devon who kindly offered to lend their 1942 vintage Sherman tank for the event on this coming 4th and 5th July. The Sherman tank was produced in huge numbers during World War II and it was the most numerous battle tank of the entire conflict with nearly 50,000 constructed from 1941-45 for service by the Allies across the world.

The exact history of this Sherman tank is a little sketchy but, for many years after the war, it was used by the British Army as a 'hard target' on their artillery ranges and was literally shot full of holes until rescued by the Cobbaton Combat Collection museum and stored for future preservation.

Last year, it was partially cosmetically restored for use as a 'knocked-out' tank from a tracked squadron for the Brad Pitt blockbuster war film 'Fury', and Tim Isaac from Cobbaton worked on the film as a tank driver and mechanic. Sadly, the Sherman is still a non-runner, with the engine taken out and also full of shell holes, although work is going on to gradually bring it back to full working condition. Tracked armour is always a good draw for the public, and this particular tank's history and recent film star credentials make it a bit special! So visitors will get a chance to get up close to the tank and the other vehicles on display.

But getting the tank ready to be moved from North Devon to South Devon is going to be something of a race against time! 

There will be special appearances from The Candy Girls who will be performing on Saturday 4th July and  Red Hot Duo and City Steam Jazz Band will be performing on Sunday 5th July. 

This looks set to be a 'steamingly' good weekend for everyone!   

1940's Weekend at South Devon Railway


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